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Tips for preventing and coping with the flu

This page was last updated September 14, 2010

The following tips are based on recommendations and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and SMUís "Standards Regarding Seasonal and H1N1 Flu As Recommended by CDC."


Steps you can take to keep from getting ill include:

  • When seasonal vaccine becomes available, get vaccinated.
  • Get plenty of rest so your immune system is working at its best.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing, sneezing, touching contaminated surfaces, using the restroom, changing diapers, handling garbage, handling uncooked foods, touching animals, or tending to someone who is sick.
  • Use disposable towels or blowers to dry your hands. Do not use a common cloth towel.
  • Use disposable towels to turn off faucets and open doors.
  • Frequently clean work surfaces and touch points (door handles, drawer pulls, chair arms, etc.) in your work area and home.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with either a disposable tissue or your sleeve. After you use a tissue, throw it away.
  • If you encounter someone who is sick, stay at least 6 feet away.
  • If others in your classes are coughing and sneezing, wearing a disposable mask in class is an option for you. You may contact SMU's Office of Emergency Management regarding masks.


Think about the possibility of getting sick and what you will need should you be confined to your home or room for several days. In planning ahead, consider:

  • Identify a buddy who can bring you food, medications, school assignments, etc.
  • Have a supply of food, water, juices and disposable tissues.
  • Compile phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses of family, friends and professors you would need to contact.
  • Maintain an adequate supply of clean clothes.

Coping with the Flu

Once you begin to show signs of the flu (fever, chills, cough, fatigue, etc.):

  • Do not go to class or work until you have been without fever for at least 24 hours.
  • Seek medical attention if fever persists for several days.
  • Notify your buddy, professors and supervisors about your situation.
  • Get rest and drink plenty of liquids.
  • When you encounter others, stay at least 6 feet away. The Health Center is giving masks to infected students.

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